UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Lucarellis land one-two punch at Champlain

After entering the event in fourth place, Steve Lucarelli surged ahead to win by more than a pound.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - If you have to give up a two-day lead, at least yield it to someone you like. Suffice it to say, New Hampshire pro Joe Lucarelli probably felt OK about watching his dad, Steve, surge past him to win the Stren Northern Division event on Lake Champlain.

The elder Lucarelli was visibly overcome with mixed emotions - a sentimental blend of victorious glee tempered with a bit of sadness over his son's understandable disappointment. When Joe topped the pro division on day one, Steve placed ninth and proudly stated: "I'd finish behind him any day."

Nevertheless, there can be only one winner on paper. For his accomplishment, Steve Lucarelli took home $20,561 and a Ranger boat, motor and trailer package.

The final round saw cloudy, blustery conditions turn to an all-out drench-fest by midday. Despite roughFather and son, Steve and Joe Lucarelli share a family moment after Steve was announced as the winner. water, which made boat positioning and finesse presentations very challenging, all 10 pros and nine co-anglers caught limits.

Steve Lucarelli's 20-pound, 6-ounce bag was the day's largest. Added to 18-15 from day one and 17-11 on day two, his final round effort yielded a total of 57-0 and a winning margin of 1 pound, 3 ounces.

When he loaded his fish into the in-water weigh-in tank, it was one big brown beast after another - that is, until he pulled out a green one for No. 5. Apparently, friendly kidding from fellow anglers had him pretty proud of that largemouth.

Boldly displaying his last fish, Lucarelli said: "This is for all of my buddies back in New Hampshire who said I couldn't catch one of these."

Steve Lucarelli was quick to point out his largemouth prowess to his New Hampshire buddies.Lucarelli caught his fish on a Carolina rigged lizard and a dropshot. With no interest in running to multiple spots in rough conditions, he staked out a promising area with good vegetation that was harboring abundant forage in about 18 feet. Patience proved to be the best strategy.

"These fish are transient - they're nomads," Lucarelli said. "We just had to wait for them to come by. Where I fished was a feeding station and I liked the particular combination of weeds. You just had to sit there and rot. That's my strength.

"This lake is too big, it was too rough and I'm too old to run around. I just find a spot that I think I can get them on and I wait them out."

Lucarelli bagged his largemouth - the fish that probably secured his victory with less than an hour before check-in. "That was something. A school of largemouth came through and I picked up three good ones, my co-angler picked up a few medium-sized ones and then they were gone."

Wrong wind pushes Joe Lucarelli down to second

He certainly appeared poised to lock up the wire-to-wire victory, but despite topping the field for the first two days and entering the final round with nearly a 3-pound lead, Central Harbor, N.H. pro JoeAfter leading the event for two days, Joe Lucarelli struggled with an east wind and slipped to second. Lucarelli succumbed to simple mathematics - his dad's productivity increased, while his decreased. On day one, Lucarelli caught a limit weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces and bolstered it with 18-3 on day two. In the finale, his 16-2 gave him a second-place total of 55-13.

Lucarelli relied mostly on a green pumpkin Gary Yamamoto Flappin Hog. He flipped this bait on a football head jig and fished it on a Carolina rig. He was hoping to capitalize on the strong largemouth action he had found earlier in the week, but with the day's blow coming mostly from the east, Lake Champlain just didn't cooperate.

"I could work with any wind but an east wind," he said. "That east wind was right on my (largemouth) water and kind of wrecked it. I had to switch up to smallmouth, but they just didn't bite well. I got one good one and that was it.

"There was a brief period when the wind switched from east to south. The water kind of slicked off and the fish bit for about 40 minutes and then they just quit."

Lucarelli ended up catching his limit of smallies over clean bottom with abundant grass in 20-22 feet. Noting the fishing tradition he shares with his father, he said: "He always used to tell me `You can't get into trouble when you have a fishing rod in your hand'."

Despite slow start, Sheldrake rises to third

A slow start didnHis 19-pound, 8-ounce stringer was second only to Steve Lucarelli's winning bag, but when the dust settled Donald Sheldrake of Sandford, Ont., had risen four notches to finish third. Adding his final day score to his 17-10 and 17-13 from days one and two gave him a total of 54-15.

"The day actually didn't start off too well," Shelldrake said. "I got one good fish early in the morning and by 11 o'clock, I still only had one fish. I told my co-angler that we would fish until 2 o'clock, no matter what we had. I wasn't prepared to beat the boat up or beat our fish up, so that was the plan."

Fortunately, Shelldrake had located a productive spot earlier in the week that had produced well for him and another boat during days one and two. Returning to that spot proved to be his day-saver.

"We just kept refining our drifts and got lucky and caught some nice fish," Shelldrake said. "I caught almost every one of my fish on a Carolina rig with a green lizard. They loved that bait today."

Kennedy celebrates birthday with fourth place finish

Jimmy Kennedy of Plainfield, Vt., celebrated his birthday on Lake Champlain and the bass wereMoving up four spots to fourth place was a nice birthday gift for Jimmy Kennedy. generous enough to give him a nice gift - an 18-pound, 9-ounce stringer that moved him up four spots to a fourth-place finish with 53-15.

"I forgot it was my birthday until my co-angler reminded me," Kennedy said. "I kind of got off to a slow start after that."

Kennedy reached the top-10 with consistent performances of 17-15 and 17-7 on the first two days. On day three, he caught his fish on dropshots rigged with Slammers and wacky-rigged Senkos. For his mixed bag, he fished over isolated rocks in 30 feet of water for smallmouth and targeted shallow weed beds for largemouth.

Baksay falls back to fifth

When hard baits failed to produce, Connecticutt pro Terry Baksay turned to drop shots and tubes.Easton, Conn. pro Terry Baksay placed 22nd on day one with 16-15 on day one, but made a big move on day two with a 19-pound, 13-ounce bag that pulled him up 20 spots to second place. The day three weather fiddled with his pattern just enough to take back three of those spots and Baksay's final catch of 16-5 gave him a fifth-place 53-1 total.

Unable to get bit on the hard baits he preferred, Baksay threw Mizmo tubes and dropshots with 4-inch Slug-Gos and Slammers. Baksay reported staying busy with plenty of action, but he found quality fish few and far between.

"I probably caught 50 fish today, but I never caught so many pound-and-a-half fish in my life," he said.


Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Stren Series Lake Champlain event:

6th: Jason Ober of Johnstown, Pa., 52-10
7th: Michael Wolfenden of Warwick, RI, 52-3
8th: Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, 51-3
9th: Raymond Gratton of Swanton, Vt., 50-14
10th: Michael Drew of West Burke, Vt., 50-3

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2009-08-27-lake-champlain 

/news/2016-07-27-celebs-seminars-on-deck-for-the-cup

Celebs, Seminars on Deck for the Cup

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 4-7 will be crawling with some of the best bass anglers in the industry – both active pros and bassin’ legends. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to personally wish their favorite anglers good luck before takeoff, snag a picture and an autograph from an industry superstar, or sit in on a seminar. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bass-and-bbq-festival-set-for-forrest-wood-cup-expo

Bass and BBQ Festival set for Forrest Wood Cup Expo

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – FLW is adding some Alabama flavor to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup with its Bass & BBQ Festival as part of the FLW Expo outside the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama, August 6 and 7. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-27-bk-s-year-as-the-champ

BK’s Year as the Champ

Brad Knight plans on getting a good night’s sleep before this year’s Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake begins on Aug. 4. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there have been times during the past 12 months when dozing off wasn’t so easy for the defending Cup champion. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-1000-islands

Top 10 Patterns from the 1000 Islands

High wind and fluctuating water temperatures made things a little difficult for the anglers, but the top-10 pros adapted and utilized the whole playing field to exploit everything from deep smallmouth to shallow largemouth. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-for-win-at-flw-bass-fishing-league-great-lakes-division-event-on-mississippi-river-presented-by-navionics

McCartney, O’Keefe Tie For Win at FLW Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River Presented By Navionics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (July 25, 2016) – Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-mccartney-o-keefe-tie-on-the-mighty-miss

McCartney, O'Keefe tie on the Mighty Miss

Mark McCartney of Davis Junction, Illinois, and Nick O’Keefe of La Crosse, Wisconsin, each weighed three bass totaling 11 pounds even, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament of 2016 on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. For his win, McCartney earned $5,540 after bonuses, and O’Keefe took home $3,540. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-country-music-superstar-dustin-lynch-to-perform-free-concert-in-huntsville-presented-by-wdrm-102-1

Country Music Superstar Dustin Lynch to perform Free Concert In Huntsville presented by WDRM 102.1

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Sunday, August 7, starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in of the world championship of professional bass fishing, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The concert is presented by WDRM... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-canterbury-s-next-challenge-

Canterbury’s Next Challenge

At the time of writing, Canterbury had been picked by every pundit and 50 percent of players overall, which is a decent bump over Morgan at 47 percent. The dollars attached obviously make a difference, but there’s no doubt that everyone expects great things. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-jay-kendrick-the-rookie-

Jay Kendrick – The “Rookie”

A rookie by designation if not by experience, Forrest Wood Cup contender Jay Kendrick finished 34th in the standings in his first year on the Walmart FLW Tour to clinch a spot in the championship. What makes it even more fortuitous for him is that because the Cup is taking place on Wheeler Lake, he’ll be able to stay at his own house for the event, which is just about 30 minutes from takeoff at Ditto Landing. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-25-fan-freebies-and-contests-at-the-cup

Fan Freebies and Contests at the Cup

One pro angler is going to win $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Ala. That’s good for him. For fans, the chance to win is pretty good too. FLW and its partners and sponsors have lined up a sweet selection of giveaway prizes for the Cup and the accompanying FLW Expo, ranging from a tricked-out bass boat to a fishing trip with Jimmy Houston. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »